Press Conference: Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski

coach kDuke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski talks with reporters after the fourth-ranked Blue Devils upset #2 UVA 69-63 on Saturday.

 

Opening statement: “It was a heck of a game. They are so darn good. Their crowd was great. What an amazing setting to celebrate their basketball program, which should be celebrated. I thought their effort was outstanding and I thought ours was too. We just won a really tough game. I’m proud of my guys. They’re so big, strong, and deep. I thought at the start of the second half they wore us out. We were ready in the first half, I thought we played better than a one-point lead in the first half. But I thought that in the second half they took over. I thought Jahlil [Okafor], who didn’t have a great first half, had a great second half and gave us a physical presence inside. The zones we used helped us, where we didn’t have to match up with their physicality. Because we rebounded defensively we were able to push the ball up the court and get some open looks that our kids knocked down. Quinn [Cook], Matt [Jones], and Tyus [Jones]  had some huge 3’s after we had not hit 3’s. We were good. I told them that that’s the best one we were going to get. Going small we just ran motion. Our guys were patient and did good things. I thought Tyus’ 3-point play [was big], they were ready to lower the boom on us and I thought that kept us in the game. It was a hard fought, heck of a game. They’re very good. They’re so deserving of everything that’s been said about them. Today we were able to do a little bit more and win. I’m proud of our guys. It’s been a hell of a week for us, with three road games in six days. We started with my thing at St. John’s, such an emotional day. Then we went to South Bend, I thought we played winning basketball there. And then we came here. For our guys to have the wherewithal and toughness to win tonight says a lot about them and our team.”

On transition baskets in the first half: “Our guys really attacked the basket. Justise [Winslow] gave us an amazing verve right away and he set the example of taking it hard. That was one of his best games. We weren’t able to do that in the second half because they hit everything. But then we got some defensive boards, especially out of the zone where we could run a little better.”

On Jahlil [Okafor] being hard on himself: “He’s a great player. He had a really good game, especially in the second half. If he doesn’t have that physicality we’re going nowhere. He had six offensive rebounds. We knew the double was going to come. I thought that in the first half he was just playing for the double instead of posting hard. He took away his offensive move before the double. Jeff Capel said some really good things to him at halftime to get him going. You practice against it, but don’t let them just do it. In the second half he posted lower and responded really well [to the double team].”

On missing the first nine 3’s and making 6-of-8 to finish: “I didn’t think we took bad 3’s. We’re smaller than they are. I think you look at their length while your shooting sometimes. When we got the 3’s in the second half they weren’t as much in front of us because they were in transition. They had a little bit better window. Thank goodness for us.”

On the team’s response to Justise Winslow’s flagrant foul: “That was an unfortunate thing. I think it was the heat of the action. He went so strong that whether he got fouled or not there was a lot of contact. They did what they had to do. They took the lead, I think they were up by 11. Then we had that, so it was two big things that our guys had to get over. And they did. That says a lot about them.”

 

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